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Buying a Home: the Wise Choice of Hiring an Attorney

Jun 17 2015

Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Every state has its own set of real estate laws. Both real estate agents and real estate attorneys are helpful in the home purchasing process. However, it is important to have a full grasp on the overall home purchasing process in order to properly understand the role of the real estate agents and attorneys.

Let’s consider a scenario where you and your family are looking to buy a house in Barnegat. You are quickly learning that the process of buying a home is complex. The paperwork and people involved in your potential home purchase is beginning to wane on your initial excitement. To prevent misunderstanding and stress in what is supposed to be a happy time, it is vital for you and your family to learn as much as you can about the home-buying process.

Good, experienced real estate agents are typically in contact with quality inspectors and mortgage loan brokers. These agents have a proper understanding of appropriate practice contingent to the area such as the paperwork process, hiring inspectors, negotiating payments for home repairs, and maintaining proper relations with the home sellers. However, a good agent cannot properly assist you with legal real estate tasks, regardless of their seniority or expertise. An attorney is the only one who can make judgments on legal questions.

In many states, once you sign the contract to buy or sell a home, it is final. In New Jersey, though, you may still have an opportunity to have an attorney review the contract and advise you on any suggested changes. This cuts both ways. The contract is not final until attorney review is concluded. This means that you have the potential to cancel the contract—but so does the opposing party. This is especially concerning if the house is a hot commodity and multiple offers come in. It is important to get with an attorney quickly to tie up this loose end before the other side changes their mind or gets a better offer.

If you have an inquiry regarding property, you will need to find an attorney who specializes in real estate.  A few examples of instances that require legality in real estate include interpreting abstract language in the contract or mortgage, or executing the transfer of property through a deed.  To verify that your purchase or sale of property is properly executed, consider a consultation with a well-qualified real estate attorney to discuss your unique situation and real estate desires.